ENGL 284 A: Beginning Short Story Writing

Meeting Time: 
MW 1:30pm - 2:50pm
Location: 
* *
SLN: 
14271
Instructor:
Headshot of David Shields
David Shields

Syllabus Description:

Join URL:

https://washington.zoom.us/j/97168034129

We are mortal beings. There is as yet no evidence of god. We live in a hyperdigitalized culture. Art is related to the body and to the culture. Art should reflect these things. Brevity rules.

A sustained argument for the excitement and urgency of brevity; a rally for compression, concision, and velocity; and a meditation on the brevity of human existence.

Participation counts. IT WILL SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECT YOUR GRADE. However, please don’t comment just to comment. Try to contribute judiciously, effectively, thoughtfully, and generously.

dshields@davidshields.com

Office phone: 206.543.2247

Life Is Short—Art Is Shorter; I will send to you a word document so that we can use it via share-screen.

Students will read the book, do the prompts suggested by the book. We’ll do as many of them as we can. Read the whole book on your own, page by page, including the commentaries by Elizabeth Cooperman and me (we are the book’s co-editors). In class, students and I will discuss individual chapters AS WE HAVE TIME. Crucial that you read the book on your own, chapter by chapter as we go and/or all the way through.

In class, students will read aloud their work and critique one another’s work. THAT IS THE CORE FOCUS OF THE COURSE.

Students will learn the virtue of brevity, the key principles of literary composition in general (for novels, short stories, essays, etc.), and the many gestures available to the contemporary writer.

This is not a course in fiction or nonfiction. This is a course in prose composition or in prose stratgies. In how to write. YOU CAN WRITE WHATEVER YOU WANT: PROSE-POEM, ESSAY, FICTION, HYBRID WORK.

YOU CAN SUBMIT AS MANY REVISIONS AS YOU WANT DURING EXAM WEEK: DUE ON FRIDAY OF EXAM WEEK.

QUESTIONS? CONCERNS? REQUESTS? CORRECTIONS?

Jan 4.  Intro to course.

Jan 6. Intro to course.

Jan 11. Discuss 1st assignment.

Jan 13. Same.

Jan 18. No Class. MLK Birthday.

Jan 20. Discuss 2nd assignment.

Jan 25. Same.

Jan 27. Discuss 3rd assignment.

Feb 1. Same.

Feb 3. Discuss 4th assignment.

Feb 8. Same.

Feb 10. Discuss 5th assignment.

Feb 15. No class. Presidents’ Day.

Feb 17. Discuss 5th assignment.

Feb 22. Discuss 6th assignment.

Feb 24. Same.

Mar 1. Discuss 7th assignment.

Mar 3. Discuss 7th assignment.

Mar 8. Catching up/general discussion.

March 10. Last class. Catching up/general discussion.

Catalog Description: 
Introduction to the theory and practice of writing the short story.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Credits: 
5.0
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
October 13, 2020 - 4:30am